Stephanie Sokol for The Oakland Press
When choosing the direction his life would take, Duane Scherer knew he wanted to do something creative.
After high school, the Lathrup Village resident worked as a musician and began painting, and a few years later, focused solely on visual art.
“I wanted to bring joy and aesthetic variation to everyone,” says Scherer, of Lathrup Village.
He exhibited at galleries for years, but upon starting a family, focused on using his creativity to earn a living.
Leaving the gallery behind, Scherer found passion — and success — in creating whimsical clocks.
“For me, the way that I approached my life is with experimentation and different things,” Scherer says. “I like making the clocks because I’m able to do a lot of things and have fun with it, making works of art that are reasonably priced that the average person can take home.”
Scherer is proud that his clocks are completely American-made, from the quartz to the metal and stamping, he realized it was less expensive to buy the materials from smaller companies.
He uses fabric and paper in various patterns and colors, which he says people find reminiscent of “Alice in Wonderland.”
He most enjoys the “wow factor” of his booth at art fairs, that his works get people excited. He says this is a reason art lovers from around the world have purchased his clocks when he’s taken them to shows around the country.
“My clock line caters to so many people — I sell to couples, people with tattoos and plugs, old grandmothers,” Scherer says. “This young lady in high school came and wanted to buy a clock with money she earned from her part-time job. In the same show, a woman and her mother were visiting from South Africa and bought a clock from me to take back with them.”
Scherer will bring his clocks to the Ann Arbor Art Fair July 20-23, along with more than 1,000 other juried artists who will fill 29 city blocks downtown.
In its 50th year, this show — actually four fairs in one event — is one of the largest outdoor art fairs in the U.S., with a variety of media.
Karen Delhey, spokeswoman for the fair, said it is different each year as artists evolve. “Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or a novice collector, there’s so much to discover that the experience is inspiring and unparalleled,” she said in a statement.
The fair also includes artist demonstrations, street performances, food and a variety of shops and sidewalk sales. There are also kids activities, too, including Legoland, clay work, art activity zones and dinosaur puppet creation.
“The thing I like about Ann Arbor is the thing I like about a few shows, it’s got a diversity of people that go there,” Scherer says. “I get into interesting conversations with microbiologists, psychiatrists, doctors, housewives. There are so many different people. I like that — I like people.”
• If You Go: Ann Arbor Art Fair spans 29 blocks in downtown Ann Arbor, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, July 20-22 and noon-6 p.m. Sunday, July 23. Parking, transportation and more info available at theannarborartfair.com.